We are welcoming a new series on our social media and blog. We will be spotlighting fighters in and out of the ring. We want to showcase individuals making waves both in the ring and out in society. To kick off this series is our own Jessica Ng.
Jessica Ng is a first generation Chinese-Hong Kong American, born and raised from Queens, New York. She is a Muay Thai fighter, designer, and co-founder of Southpaw Stitches.
A day in the life of Jess revolves around work and training—a constant cycle of challenging herself to do and accomplish more than before and to positively impact the community around her. Before, Southpaw Stitches was a side hustle, while she worked as a designer for Calvin Klein.
Q: Describe your journey through transitioning from Calvin to Southpaw Stitches.
“After over 10 years at Calvin, I decided to really focus on myself and spend all the energy that I would have working for someone else into something for MYSELF. I took a fulfilling ‘sabbatical’ from the industry and was doing a lot of traveling not just for fun or my mental and emotional health, but also for self-development in my career. Traveling was ‘traveling to embrace a new way of seeing things.’ The transition wasn’t easy, but it was freeing and rewarding.”
Her travels were a way for her to connect back with herself & to connect with the places and people she visited.
“I went to a part of the island [Cuba] that was very rural. I met a Chinese grandfather who was first generation Cuban-Chinese. He was in his 70s and I was the first Chinese person he’d seen there in his whole life, besides his own family. We saw each other and he embraced me, we talked, ate at his table, and it was a genuine and curious connection. Having those unexpected and heart warming experiences are so meaningful and fulfilling. You can never get back time, but traveling is the antidote to ignorance because there is no education like traveling.”
Branching off to pursue her own aspirations, Southpaw Stitches was a way for Jess & Hannah to build something of their own.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the company?
“We want to hold significance in representing what we stand for. A brand and a company is more than just that, it has to represent its mission, it’s north star--everything we do is wanting to make a social impact for the better whether it be big or small. In Muay Thai, it is pay-to-play and we do it for the love of the sport...so how can we support others in ways we needed support back when we were training and fighting.”
Jess began Muay Thai at around 22-23 years old when she first took a class with her friend in college. From there she continued to push and challenge herself and has accomplished so much since then. Her current record stands at 17-10. Jess Ng’s achieved not only a state champion title, but also a Pan American Champion title as well.
- Gold - 2017 IFMA Pan American Champion 45kg
- Bronze - 2018 IFMA Pan American Champion 45kg
- 2014, 2018 IFMA Team USA member
- 2013 Take On Promotions Champion 102 lbs
- 2013 WKA North American Tournament Champion 102 lbs
- 2012 TBA Muay Thai Classic Amatuer Champion Tournament 105 lbs
- Silver - 2011 WKA Amateur Championship Tournament 105 lbs
Q: What inspired you to do Muay Thai?
"It was mentally, physically, and emotionally the most challenging thing I’ve done, and I was inspired to pursue it after my first trip to Thailand. This shit is hard, but I want to do the best I can. If I am training every day, I might as well put myself to the test and fight.”
Q: Why do Muay Thai or any type of self defense fighting?
"Muay Thai gives you a lot of confidence in so many situations...A stronger mind, a stronger heart, and more confidence in myself. Knowing how to push myself to be mentally strong is a lot of work, and once you are mentally and emotionally strong that's most of the fight right there in all aspects of life. That mental strength helps you combat the negative thoughts and battle within you”
Q: Do you remember how you felt during your first fight?
“Before I was super nervous, I got on the undercard in an 8-man tournament with a $10,000 reward. It was my first fight and my opponent had more experience than me, but I remember that as soon as the bell rang...it was tunnel vision the whole time. I didn’t know where I was in the ring...I was seeing outside my body, but it did whatever it wanted. It was fight mode and survival mode."
On July 30th, 2021, Jess Ng will be making her WCMT debut at Warriors Cup-KOKORO.
Q: How has your current fight camp been? What have you been working on?
"For this fight camp, I am working a lot on learning how to give myself grace and listening to my body, protecting my mental health, and working on my mental strength. I started to embrace meditating, and also if my body needs to heal I make sure to treat it and train smarter. If I am training and I am out of breath and everything is hurting, I focus on my breathing. Keeping in check with my nutrition and health.”
Q: What are you looking forward to with your upcoming fight?
"I am excited to fight again, grateful for the opportunity, and I am looking forward to testing myself in a new way where I am more clear in my head and in my own existence as a person in what I represent, who I represent and how I represent.”
If you want to find more details about her upcoming fight, follow along with us on our instagram (@southpaw_stitches) OR visit @warriorscup_3pp!
Each spotlight within these series are meant to showcase to the world these amazing, courageous, and powerful individuals who have proven time and time again the importance of strength through adversity. To inspire the fight within you.